The talk surrounding the 2023 comeback of Tiger Woods at the Genensis Open has unfortunately been dominated not by the play of the game's best ever player, but by a crass tampon joke he made.
After outdriving his playing partners, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, during the first round of the tournament, Woods was pictured sneakily handing Thomas a tampon.
Woods' banter received much backlash, with Dublin GAA star Noelle Healy, for example, highlighting its poor taste by tweeting "One step forward two steps back for advancing conversation around menstruation for #sportswomen everywhere. #greatstuff."
“It was just friends having fun,” Woods said after the incident. “If I offended anybody in any way, shape or form, I’m sorry. It was not intended to be that way. It was just, we play pranks on one another all the time.”
However, it was not just women who were angered by Woods' actions, with US track legend Michael Johnson calling out golf's superstar for what he felt was an empty apology.
"Apology starting with “If I offended anyone” is no apology," tweeted Johnson. "But this is Tiger. Never been a leader and he’s Teflon. Still heralded after all the mistakes so he’s learned nothing. Media focus always on miraculous recovery. Never why the need for recovery."
Tiger Woods Criticised By Michael Johnson
Apology starting with “If I offended anyone” is no apology. But this is Tiger. Never been a leader and he’s Teflon. Still heralded after all the mistakes so he’s learned nothing. Media focus always on miraculous recovery. Never why the need for recovery. https://t.co/nFkgo3xtWo
— Michael Johnson (@MJGold) February 18, 2023
Yes, Tiger Woods 100% handed Justin Thomas a tampon after he outdrove him. pic.twitter.com/VJbfldyXhw
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) February 17, 2023
One step forward two steps back for advancing conversation around menstruation for #sportswomen everywhere.#greatstuff https://t.co/IklMU1Ky6Z
— Noëlle Healy (@NoelleHealy) February 17, 2023
READ HERE: Watch: Tiger Woods Sheds A Tear After Remarkable Ovation At The Open
Woods currently lies in a tie for 26th, after an impressive third round of four under par.
“Yeah, today was better,” he said yesterday. “I felt like I made some nice adjustments with my putting, and that was the thing that held me back yesterday. I’ve driven it well the last three days. My iron play has been good. And the firm conditions I like; that’s kind of right up my alley with iron play. Just wish I could have putted a little bit better yesterday. I made a few adjustments today and some of the putts went in.”
“As I was saying earlier, I can hit golf balls, I can do all that stuff, I can chip and putt back home and I can do all that stuff. But I haven’t walked and played a lot, so that’s the challenge. The ebb and flow of adrenaline, I haven’t had adrenaline in my system for a while, so getting the numbers right, that’s taken a little bit of time. Joey and I have been in lockstep in making those adjustments.